The elderly's advice on land needed

File photo of people working on a farm.
File photo of people working on a farm.
Image: Adrian de Kock

As a country, we cannot address land expropriation without compensation without addressing the forced removals of the 1960s and before.

We must remember that our parents were removed by force from places in Tshwane such as Wallmansthal, Lady Selborne and Eastwood.

As black South Africans, we were trapped in what I call "poverty of the mind", because most people today have either forgotten or don't know where they originally come from.

Today we find people being encouraged to squat or invade land in places which used to be called home by their families. When debating the land issue, the government was supposed to consult with its own people, particularly the elderly, before it can go ahead with land hearings.

Also, the government should engage with members of society who know the history of this country to come forward with their inputs, which will help in bringing long-term land solutions so that the country can move forward.

In every family history, you can track that family line through a name or clan name.

My point is, hearings are being held but the unfortunate part is that the right people who were supposed to be there to give input were not called in to do so.

People cannot just go to places like Wallmansthal and put shacks there in the name of not having houses.

Rightful owners of those places - most of whom are dead - and their children and relatives are out there living in squalor and no one is addressing their issues.

This is not only about land, it's also about our identity as black South Africans.

In the past, people knew one another to a level that if one got lost, by a name they would easily help them get back to their relatives.

Martha Mphelo, Mamelodi West

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